Friday, September 26, 2014

Tomorrow: Museum Day Storytelling in Marietta, OH

A beautiful autumn day. Soft waters of the Ohio River flowing by. Two museums on the riverbank. Four storytellers. Can it get any better than that?

Jeff and I, on the river in Pomeroy, OH
Tomorrow is Museum Day, a day to get out an enjoy what the museums in your neck of the woods have to offer. Two of Marietta's museums teamed up to celebrate with a day of stories and music. Campus Martius and the Ohio River Museum will be hosting events all day and I am happy to be part of the celebration. I'll be joined by storytellers Judi Tarowsky and Stephen Hollen and my sometimes-partner-in-crime, musician Jeff Seager.

Stephen Hollen as Mark Twain, 2011

If you're in the area, come in and say hello and have a listen to some memorable, funny, touching and spellbinding tales and songs. And if you can't make it to Marietta, be sure to stop by a museum wherever you are, and thank the people who work so hard to create a place of learning and beauty in your neighborhood.

Campus Martius Museum is located at 601 2nd Street, Marietta, Ohio, on State Route 7, minutes from I-77. The museum is just one block away from the Ohio River Museum

The Ohio River Museum is located at 601 Front Street, Marietta, Ohio, one block from Ohio State Route 7, and minutes from I-77. Free parking is available in the museum parking lot. Ohio River Museum is also wheelchair accessible, except for W.P. Snyder. 

If you need more details or directions, call the museums at 1-740-373-3750.   

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

Ah, Fall! A Garden Stroll

The weather has been incredible the last week or so. Cool, and crisp, and one night so chilly that I heard a few people around our county had light frost. Fall has certainly arrived. We've spent most evenings around the firepit, enjoying the fire and the company of our three dogs. Before we settled in by the fire last night I took my camera for a quick walk around the gardens, trying to catch some of the color and light of a glorious autumn evening.

These little sunflowers are volunteers planted by an industrious chipmunk who was stealing bird seed. We had several little patches of these coming up in the oddest places. Very nice of him!

My little red, white and blue corner

with yet another volunteer plant--this one is corn! I suppose the chipmunk planted it too, and I just left it to grow.

Very determined Stevia pushed its way right through the garden bench.

I love the look of this old chair against the picket fence. There were other flowers in that pot but whatever this white stuff is, it took over! It's quite a hardy plant, surviving even when I forgot to water it.

Through the garden gate...Larry wanted me to be sure to take a photo of his Indian corn. He just planted a few hills, but it certainly made the most of itself. We're still waiting for the kernels to finish turning color. He planted this in mid-July, pretty late for Indian corn, but I think we'll get some decorations from it.

I swear, this corn must be 12 feet tall! The tomato stakes you can see are about 3 1/2' tall, so that gives you some idea of the height of the corn.

So pretty right now, and the soft evening light really makes everything so much brighter.

The knockout roses are still blooming but I am worried about them. They were hit hard by winter, almost killed back to the ground. They have recovered a little bit, but they don't look too strong to me. I hope this winter will not be as hard on them.

Well, that's the tour. Not a lot to see, but I am trying to enjoy the colors and the flowers while they're here. Old Man Winter will be raising his frosty head before too long, and all we'll have to remember the flowers will be these pictures.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

In Search of Ghosts

I mentioned before that I am working on plans for a ghost walk to be held in my town of Ripley--I call it my town since it's the one closest to us and where I do most of my shopping. I thought I knew the history, basically, of this town but I am finding I know just the tip of the iceberg and as I search for ghost stories connected with the area, the history is becoming pretty important.

I don't know about other storytellers or ghost story collectors, but I need to know the place where the events happened. That means digging into online records, books, genealogy and even those sites with the black background and flashing lights and creepy lettering. Folklore, fact, legend, hearsay, court records--it's all grist to the storyteller's mill.

And I have found some things that are becoming stories, tales from the early settlement of the area to the Civil War to the Victorian era. Later than that I will not search because there may still be relatives living who could be offended by telling any more recent events. As I work I find in every case that I need to know more, and so back to the digging I go.

Fortunately, I am aided by two knowledgeable ladies and quite a few other people who know the history of this area. One of my companions on this story-seeking journey is a local writer who is looking over my stories and editing them to add more of what I call the "chill factor." The other lady who has offered assistance is also a writer, working on a book about West Virginia's last public hanging, an event that happened in our town. She has rich background material that will really fill out the tour with descriptions of the town at a specific time, biographical information, and so on. I am blessed to have these two partners in crime to help get these stories ready to tell on October 10th and 11th.

There are others who are helping out too, with resources, phone numbers, books and more. I am almost finished writing the stories; the next step is finding the key elements I want to include in the telling, and that all-important "universal truth" that makes the story hit home for anyone who hears it.

Tomorrow I'm on the road again, and I am hoping these stories will be rolling around my subconscious while I'm away so that when I come back to them I will have fresh insights.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.
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